Leeds United handed early promotion advantage reminder after Championship move

The release of the 2024-25 Championship fixture list is a timely reminder to Leeds United on their main challengers for promotion back to the Premier League.

There will be some surprise packages no doubt, just look at what Ipswich Town achieved last season and Luton Town before them. However, Daniel Farke will fully expect last season's relegated sides to roar back strongly in the coming months.

Burnley continue to look for a new manager but are the bookies' clear favourites to clinch promotion, with Leeds also well backed. Last season's 90 point total wasn't enough for Farke and Co, but they need to elmimate any risk of play-off agony again by clinching a top-two place, and that means beating off the challenge of at least 22 other sides.

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They say the table doesn't mean an awful lot until at least 10 matches in, while the nature of the Championship season means late surges frequently prove to be decisive and can often come well into the second half of the campaign. However, while the 'current' table is particluarly irrelevant, it does show one Leeds United advantage before a ball has been kicked.

The sides are merely listed in alphabetical order for the moment, of course, apart from Sheffield United. The relegated Blades will start the season on -2 points after suffering a deduction for defaulted payments - with a further two points suspended.

An EFL statement back in April said: "The sanction relates to the 2022/23 season, when the club defaulted on a number of payments to other clubs. The suspended points deduction will be activated if the club defaults on any payment due to another club under a transfer or compensation agreement for more than five business days from the due date for payment."

A Sheffield United statement said: "Sheffield United notes today's statement from the EFL with regards to breaches by the club of regulations 52.2.3 and 52.2.4 in the 2022/23 season. It has been agreed that the Blades will commence the next season in which the club is subject to the EFL's jurisdiction with a two-point deduction. The club's position in the proceedings was that the relevant sums relied on by the EFL had been paid in full, on several occasions only days after they were initially due, or renegotiated with new future payment dates adhered to before the club was notified of the referral.

"The club has co-operated with the EFL to reach a negotiated settlement on the issues in question. While disappointed to have the deduction imposed upon the return to the EFL and highlighting that awaiting overdue monies from several other clubs affected Sheffield United's financial situation, the club took the view that it was better to reach an agreement which minimised the risks of a higher deduction or further transfer embargoes being imposed, and being distracted by lengthy and costly legal proceedings.

"The club is now in a position to close this matter and concentrate on the future."

Leeds face Chris Wilder's men at Elland Road on October 19, before the return game at Bramall Lane on February 22. They take on favourites Burnley in just the fifth game of the campaign, witn the September 14 home game followed by the clash at Turf Moor on January 25.